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Oxford celebrates the solar eclipse with ‘total’ly out of this world festivities

There was a large crowd gathered at Cook Field to attend MAP's Total Eclipse of the Parks watch party.
There was a large crowd gathered at Cook Field to attend MAP's Total Eclipse of the Parks watch party.

The City of Oxford hosted Miami University students, families and curious travelers to witness a once-in–a-lifetime experience: a solar eclipse entering totality.

Festivities took over Miami’s campus in totality on April 8 with vendors, news stations, live music and food trucks crowding Uptown. Miami Activities and Programming (MAP) hosted hundreds of people in Cook Field to prepare for the big event.

The celebration began with the “Total Eclipse of the Parks” event Uptown from 1 to 5 p.m. with a large crowd of people gathering to witness Oxford’s ideal viewing spot for the celestial event.

“This [eclipse] is just so cool because the sun is 400 times bigger than the moon, but it's also 400 times farther away,” senior Lauren Bielawski said. “The odds of that are really incredible.”

Along with live music from local band Thumbtack Mechanics and various vendors uptown, Brick Street Bar had its fair share of students drinking and hanging out with friends as they awaited the incoming eclipse. 

Photo by Gabby Benedict | The Miami Student
Attendees gathered at 1:15 p.m. as Thumbtack Mechanics begin performing on stage at the Uptown park.

“I came to hang out with friends and my favorite adult beverages,” senior Marissa Hoynes said.

Other students had more celestial thoughts surrounding the significance of the time of year the eclipse happened.

“I really hope this eclipse brings new beginnings because it's Aries’s season, so I really hope it brings out new beginnings for all of us,” senior Izzy Jancovich said.

Just a 10-minute walk across the street and a stroll down the slant walk, a MAP pop-up gave out cookies at the seal while holding a raffle for the novel “Twilight: Eclipse” by Stephanie Meyers.

Another 10-minute walk led to festivities at Cook Field, where MAP hosted a viewing party on the field. Hundreds of families sat on the grass eating pizza and cookies, with some playing games and others jumping on a giant UFO inflatable.

Gasps and excitement filled the field in the minute leading up to totality, with dramatic music from the DJ making the steadily dimming sky much more exciting as cheers began when the sun completely disappeared from attendees’ view in their special glasses.

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Photo by Luke Macy | The Miami Student
Oxford was in the path of totality for the 2024 solar eclipse.

As the crowd died down, the DJ continued playing music while teens and college students played with footballs and frisbees on the open field as everyone else dispersed to their cars.

“I think the last time this happened, I was inside and I don't really remember it,” senior Gianna Velotta said. “So it's really cool to be experiencing it fully and to be outside [to watch] it.”